Tech Talk Live Notes for 12/20/10

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Tech Talk Live (football and basketball season)

When: Every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during basketball season.

Where: Click here for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on the Internet (look to the right on the page that loads when you click the link). You can see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.

Jim Weaver

  • Queen Harrison won the Bowerman Award last week, which is basically the
    Heisman Trophy of track & field. Joining the ACC has really helped the
    Hokies recruit elite athletes like Harrison.
  • The trip to the Bahamas was amazing. It was a great event for the players.
    The hosts did a great job with the event. Weaver is really proud of how the
    Hokies played. He believes that group will get an exemption from the NCAA
    next year, which means they will be allowed to host a tournament without the
    games counting against the maximum number allowed by the NCAA.
  • Coach Beamer embodies everything the Paterno Award represents. He was the
    right choice. He is building quite a resume. Nobody has done more for their
    sport or their community at their respective school than Frank Beamer has
    done for Virginia Tech and Blacksburg.
  • Weaver is disappointed about the way things happened at Maryland and West
    Virginia. Weaver heard that Friedgen was told a month ago that he would be
    back, but then things turned upside down. He is very glad that he doesn’t
    have to be involved in a situation like that.
  • One of the downsides of the BCS is that they play each of their games on a
    different date. It affects Tech this year because it is on a Monday night,
    and people have to take two vacation days to make the trip. Weaver thinks
    there will be discussions about things like that going forward.
  • Bowls can trade teams each year, but that hasn’t happened yet. The Sugar
    Bowl has never traded an SEC team, the Orange Bowl has never traded an ACC
    team, etc.
  • Tech will probably lose some money on the Orange Bowl, but they had
    already built that into the budget.

Seth Greenberg

  • Tech had a great two hour practice in the Bahamas. The players had some
    free time, but each time they had a team activity they were really focused,
    and they played that way. Mississippi State is a talented team, but the
    Hokies took it to them.
  • Erick Green had a terrific night, and Tech shared the basketball.
    Greenberg is really proud of his players.
  • Greenberg says there is no doubt that the Bahamas event will get an
    exemption from the NCAA. That will be the finest Thanksgiving tournament in
    college basketball. The hospitality was terrific, the food was great, and
    everything was first class. Greenberg thinks the group lost about $2 million
    on the deal, because the two games weren’t on television. That won’t be the
    case next year.
  • Erick Green is seeing a big basket, and he’s being aggressive. He’s
    keeping the ball in front of him on defense. He has a great feel for
    pitching the ball ahead, which opens up the court a bit. He is playing at a
    very high level right now. As he continues to play, he’ll get more verbal
    and show more ownership.
  • Dorenzo Hudson came off the bench and played well. Between Hudson and
    Bell, the Hokies did a very good job defending Ravern Johnson.
  • Tech also made Renardo Sidney run the court. He’s a very good player when
    the ball is in his hands, but he’s a spectator when it’s not. Greenberg
    isn’t sure he would use a lottery pick on Sidney. Manny Atkins took a charge
    from Sidney, which is very brave on Manny’s part.
  • St. Bonaventure is led by Andrew Nicholson, who is a really good player.
    They have four players averaging in double figures, and they won against St.
    John’s. They will be a tough team.
  • It’s not right for the ACC Coach of the Year (Friedgen). They are going to
    a good bowl game. From a coach’s perspective, what more do you have to do?
    It’s very hard to win, and Friedgen has done it. Same with Dino Gaudio at
    Wake Forest.
  • Greenberg doesn’t know if the tough early season schedule helped against
    Mississippi State, but he does know that he had some players step up and do
    the things they needed to do to win.
  • Crazy upsets happen all the time at this point in the year. Florida lost
    to Jacksonville, but beat Kansas State. There are numerous other examples.
    Sometimes the team who isn’t supposed to win does win.

Kevin Jones

  • Jones decided to come back to Blacksburg to get his degree. He is living
    at the Blacksburg Country Club.
  • His favorite Tech moment was beating Miami at home in 2003.
  • Talent-wise, Darren Evans and Ryan Williams are among the best. He would
    tell them it’s a hard decision and they have to do what’s best for them.
    Jones wishes he had stayed for his senior year, and if he had it to do all
    over again that’s what he would do. You get another year under your belt,
    plus it gives you a better chance to get your degree.
  • The NFL is a big business, and that takes some of the fun out of the game.
    It’s always fun playing football, but it’s different in the pros.
  • Billy Hite is like Jones’ second dad. They keep in touch a lot. He was
    always a big advocate of Jones coming back to school.
  • Jones has had minimal contact with Evans and Williams. He doesn’t want to
    do too much talking to them yet, because he doesn’t know what the NFL rules
    are. He doesn’t want to put Tech in a bad situation.
  • Coach Beamer is a great guy. He has a great support system, and the
    experience Jones had at Tech was amazing. He always tells people that Beamer
    is a great coach because he’s a great person.
  • Jones feels healthy right now. He was out all season after surgery, but he
    hopes to be on somebody’s roster at the end of the summer. He is a free
    agent now.
  • Jones has a lot of school pride. He was at the Miami game, because he was
    living in Florida at the time.
  • Jones has had a chance to walk through the new Tech locker room. It is
    state of the art. It is better than any NFL locker room he has ever seen.
  • The thing Jones remembers from the 2003 Miami game is the fan support.
    "The Walk" to the stadium was amazing. You could feel the stadium
    shake coming out of the tunnel. There is no NFL stadium that compares to
    Tech when it comes to noise.
  • Tyrod Taylor is a great player. Nobody can be compared to Michael Vick,
    but Taylor is one of the greatest Hokies ever.
  • Jones had a chance to talk to Vick when he signed with the Eagles. He has
    put himself in some bad situations, but he seems like a better man overall.
  • Jones has two years left to graduate. He is part of a program that will
    pay for his education if he does community service and such things. He’ll
    get plenty of opportunities to talk to the players.

Antone Exum

  • It was a fun first year on the field. Just being a part of an ACC
    Championship team, he feels very fortunate.
  • Tech has had very good practices. The coaches are putting them in a good
    game plan.
  • Exum started getting more playing time at nickel against East Carolina,
    and he likes that role. It’s basically man-to-man coverage, and his job is
    to not let the receiver catch the ball. More defensive backs on the field
    means they have more speed.
  • Exum looks up to guys like John Graves, Davon Morgan and Tyrod Taylor.
    They stepped up early in the season and turned the season around with their
    leadership. It says a lot about the character of the team that they didn’t
    give up after they lost their first two games.
  • It’s very exciting to get the chance to play in a BCS Bowl. They are going
    to try to make the best of it. Stanford is a good team. They are very
    well-coached, and they have athletes on both sides of the ball. The Tech
    coaches will put their players in a good position. The Hokies have a lot of
    respect for Stanford, but they also have a lot of confidence.
  • Long-term, Exum doesn’t know what position he is going to play. He’ll go
    wherever Foster tells him to go.
  • With each game, Exum has tried to progress in his knowledge of the system.
    He has played free safety, rover and nickel already as a r-freshman, so he
    has a lot of experience.
  • Finals went well. His toughest class was accounting, and he got an 82. His
    parents would never let him play sports unless he got good grades when he
    was a kid.
  • Last year Tech got Best Buy gift cards for their bowl gifts, and some
    items like watches, etc. The players are hoping for iPads this year.

Bud Foster

  • Antone Exum shows a lot of poise. He is an outstanding prospect. He had to
    play a couple of different roles this year, and he handled them. Foster
    thinks Exum is a safety long-term.
  • Bowl prep has been very good. The Hokies have practiced really hard the
    last three days, and they’ve begun installing the Stanford game plan. They
    even have time to look at it on film and see if they need to tweak it. The
    players get a little break for Christmas, and then they’ll be back and ready
    to get to work.
  • The players have done a good job of keeping up their intensity. The
    coaches are challenging the defensive players. They closed the season
    strong, and they need to build on that. They have so many players coming
    back next year, and they need to continue to grow as the team prepares for
    the Orange Bowl.
  • Tech has had a lot of 1-on-1 practice, which means starting defense vs.
    starting offense. That helps keep players sharp.
  • It’s a crazy business in college football. Mack Brown had to get rid of a
    lot of his staff just a year after playing for a National Championship. At
    Maryland, it’s all about selling tickets and luxury suites, and getting a
    long-term coach since Friedgen is 63. But Foster knows that Friedgen is a
    great coach who has won a lot of games, and from a coaching standpoints he
    hates to see Friedgen get fired.
  • When Foster first got to Tech, they only had one full-time academic person
    in the athletics department, and they probably weren’t graduating 30% of
    their student athletes. It’s taken a lot of hard work and sacrifices, but
    they have made strides. Things have really gotten rolling lately. There is
    great support from the administration, and they want to do it the right way.
  • Andrew Luck is a tremendous athlete who can move his feet. Like any
    quarterback, he can be average if he’s pressured. However, he doesn’t get
    pressured a lot.
  • Stanford still wants to run the football as much as anyone else. They want
    to be physical, and they run a lot of play-action after they establish the
    run. They aren’t much different from Virginia Tech.
  • Luck is a very accurate quarterback who can throw any pass pattern on the
    field. He’s got some very good players around him. They run just as much
    two-tight end stuff as they do spread formations. They have big players, and
    good players.
  • Stanford’s tailbacks are physical, and they remind Foster a lot of Darren
    Evans. They are powerful players who run hard. Overall, they have a very
    experienced group up front as well.
  • Foster honestly feels like Stanford is similar to Virginia Tech. They like
    to be physical and they like to run the football. They don’t run as much
    read option as Tech, but overall they are a similar team.
  • Andrew Luck is a lot like Tim Tebow when he runs the ball. He is a big kid
    who likes to run over defenders. He is a physical, big-time athlete.
  • Tech has a great opportunity. If they beat Stanford, they can finish in
    the top 10 again, and that would be a tremendous accomplishment.
  • Barquell Rivers has been practicing. He’s not in great shape, but he’s
    doing extra conditioning. With Rivers back, Tech is more stacked at mike
    than backer. They have played Bruce Taylor exclusively at backer over the
    last four practices. Foster will have options at both spots for the Orange
  • Jack Tyler is a good player, and Tariq Edwards is a good player, and they
    are both r-freshmen. Bruce Taylor has proven to be a good player. Foster
    seemed happy with his group of linebackers.

Frank Beamer

  • Beamer is very grateful to win the Joe Paterno Award. He has always
    admired Joe Paterno and the job he has done at Penn State. Beamer likes the
    award because it’s about more than winning games. It’s about how you run
    your program, how you win games, and graduating players. He’s fortunate to
    be surrounded by coaches and players who are great people. He never saw this
    happening when he was growing up in Fancy Gap, VA.
  • Tech beat a really good team in the ACC Championship Game. Anytime you can
    beat Florida State, it’s a good day. They are a very talented football team.
  • Tech’s playmakers seemed to elevate their play against Florida State. It
    all begins with Tyrod Taylor. He made great plays, especially on third down.
  • Ralph Friedgen did a great job at Maryland over the last 10 years. He
    coached an 8-4 football team this year, and most of those guys will be back
    in 2011, and then he got fired. Beamer doesn’t think it was the right thing
    to do. It’s business, but firing guys with winning records like at Pitt,
    WVU, Maryland and Miami isn’t always a smart thing. People are losing
  • Beamer thinks the Orange Bowl helmets are different, but they look good.
    Tech will wear all-white uniforms to go along with their orange helmets.
    Players like to wear new things, and Beamer is like that a little bit as
  • Beamer thinks Michael Vick is studying the game more than ever. That’s why
    he is having such an amazing season. He also has better talent around him
    than he used to have in Atlanta.
  • The NFL is such a tough profession. Beamer is glad that Kevin Jones is
    back getting his degree.
  • Tech and Stanford share a lot of beliefs of how you play football. They
    look like an NFL team running out of the tunnel. They are big at every
    position. They are strong at every position. They are the highest ranked
    one-loss team in the country. They had Oregon on the ropes at halftime.

Monday was Day 2,214 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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